Since we’re talking about tasting wine — sniffing it, swirling it and savoring it, and also how you hold your wine glass (or rather how you don’t hold your wine glass), I might as well put the last of my pet peeves out there… I WANNA SMELL THE WINE!
Are you, like me, becoming more sensitive to things that smell? I mean hand lotion and deodorant and shampoo. Have you ever sat next to or behind someone at a concert, in church or at a lecture and nearly gagged because of their perfume? My friend Melenda and I have changed seats more than once to get away from somebody who either didn’t realize or didn’t care that their perfume was the olfactory equivalent of a boom box. I don’t want to smell it!
At a wine tasting, the last thing you want to smell is somebody’s perfume. This came home to me with a rush the other night as I was getting ready to go to a wine tasting. I’d gotten all cleaned up — showered, did my hair, and actually put on make-up. I don’t mean the usual swipe of mascarra and the quick dab of lipstick. No — I mean the whole nine yards. And as I finished putting on my earrings, I reached for my little bottle of No. 5 Chanel which I seldom get to wear. And just in the nick of time, I remembered: Ye cats!! Not to a wine tasting!
After all, we’re there to swirl and sniff … inhale the bouquet of deep red fruit (or in the case of white wine, perhaps lime or kiwi or green apple).
Part of why I think wine has gained in popularity in the past couple of decades is that it is not just a drink, it is a social pleasantry and a shared experience. C’mon — if you just want to get a buzz, you can pop a beer or slug back a martini. But wine is a thoughtful, communal experience:
“I’m getting raspberry.”
“Oh definitely raspberry. and something spicy — cardamon?”
“No, I think more along the lines of leather or maybe wet pony.”
“Either that or rain-washed stone.”
(Really, this is an actual wine description.)
What you don’t want to smell is Old Spice!
And yes, it’s mostly the men who seem to think that splashing on a liberal handful of after-shave is perfectly acceptable. They are worse than the ladies. But on the women’s side, everything seems to have fragrance in it these days. Even face cream — the one I’ve used for years from Avon — they’ve added some noxious aroma. Why? But I digress …
The whole point is, if you are going to taste wine, whether with friends or at a winery or going to a wine dinner, do yourself a favor — and the rest of us, too. Leave off the perfume and see if you can’t find some un-scented hairspray. Because as much as we enjoy your company and as happy as we are to spend time with you, this particular evening we’re getting together because we WANNA SMELL THE WINE!